Erin Castle, a recent graduate from the University of Iowa, struggled with anxiety and the body image issues common to gymnasts during her athletic career. Erin spoke highly of her support system during college, starting with her head coach Larissa Libby and even sports psychologists.
With her strong support system, she found it easier to open up about her anxiety and that helped her become a better athlete. “As an athlete if you are struggling at all or you need to figure out how to deal with the pressure of balancing school and your sports team and your coaches expectations, the best thing that you can do that’s gonna impact your performance is take care of your mind.”
One of her biggest struggles so far has been trying to figure out life after sports. While opening up about it, she gained lots of traction after going viral on Twitter for challenging colleges to help better prepare athletes for the real world
“I don’t know what it is like to function as a normal person… by the time you’re done with your college career you’ve put so much into the sport from such a young age and especially with the last four years of your life” she stated.
Erin emphasized creating a community for yourself in which you can find people that will love and support you through it all. Not to live your life with people who will tear you down but build you up. You need to find people that are going to make you a better person.